Student journalists from 10 different Historically Black Colleges and Universities attended the 15th annual conference in Nashville. The students participated in workshops, received resume and newspaper critiques and were mentored by media professionals.
"In the past, we have done a lot better, but walking away with five awards let's me know that we are still a competitive college newspaper amongst other HBCUs," said Justin Madden, a Los Angeles native and senior mass communication major who is editor-in-chief of The Gramblinite. "The seminars were all beneficial, especially the one focused on the use of social media...."
The Gramblinite collected five awards:
- First place: The Gramblinite, Best News Coverage, for coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential election
- First place: Tierra Smith, Best Sports News or Game Story, "No Contract, yes lawsuit," a story about head football coach Doug Williams decision to file a lawsuit against the university
- Second place: Tierra Smith, Best Sports Feature Story, "Promising debut for unlikely Tiger," a story about the football team's newest kicker
- Second place: Evan Peter, Individual Page Design, for the Sept. 27 Retro Edition
- Third place: Evan Peters, Best Design-Broadsheet
Other schools receiving top honors were Southern University of Baton Rouge, La. and North Carolina Central University of Durham, North Carolina.
The February HBCU Student Media Conference was a part of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute on the campus of Vanderbilt University.